Trade deals and budget take back seat to impeachment in D.C.
House Democrats have made a counteroffer on the stalled trade pact with Mexico and Canada to President Donald Trump’s trade envoy, a sign the deal could be on track for congressional approval this fall.
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal told reporters after meeting with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the offer covers all four areas which Democrats expressed concern about, including labor, environmental, enforcement and drug patent protection.
Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, said that Lighthizer’s response was “favorable,” but the administration plans to “digest it” over the next two weeks while Congress is in recess.
Representative Jimmy Gomez, a member of the working group negotiating with the White House, said a Democrats are still seeking assurances that Mexico will boost its budget to implement new labor laws that strengthen the rights of unions.
The accord, known as the USMCA, is a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement that is one of Trump’s top priorities.